PC Gaming Will Be The Platform Of Choice Next-Gen
Posted on Friday, June 7 @ 13:12:56 PST by Jonathan_Leack
For the past few months gamers have been busy comparing the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One as if they’re the only two contenders of next-gen. Not only are they not, they’re a distraction from the platform that has been alive for longer than most gamers: the PC. PC gaming might have fallen from the top of the totem pole just over a decade ago, but during its time of struggle it was refined. Today, millions of gamers across the globe consider it their primary platform, and that’s only the beginning.
Starting next-gen the PC’s reputation as a jack of all trades and a master of everything will allure console gamers over. Why? Well, I’ve kindly listed just a few of many reasons below.
Publishers and Steam are madly in love
While Sony and Microsoft are fighting to implement systems to satisfy publishers who are tired of used game sales, Valve already has that covered. Steam requires a single activation to add a game to your account and after that you can access it wherever and whenever you want. The diverse feature-set (cloud saves, video recording, screenshots, etc.) of Steam and Valve’s commitment to never ignoring consumers have made it so consumers aren’t outraged like they currently are with Microsoft’s complex and invasive Xbox One policies.
Steam has tons of ways for publishers to market their games, too. Free access weekends and a clean, easy-to-use store interface make it the premier digital distribution solution for gaming. The end result of all this great implementation is publishers love to add their games to Steam. In other words, PC gamers will never run out of games to play.
Port it like it’s hot
Console-centric developers have recently become interested in porting their games to PC. Can you blame them? The large install base of active PC gamers is the perfect crowd for games like Dark Souls and Castlevania: Lords of Shadow. Unfortunately, some of these developers have struggled to bring their games over successfully. Some games, such as Grand Theft Auto IV, have had serious optimization issues, while Dark Souls: Prepare to Die was a direct port from consoles with all the same restrictions. Despite these shortcomings PC gamers opened their wallets and gladly supported the developers. Post-release modifications fixed some of the issues, but most consumers were left wanting more.
Great benefits will be seen by consumers and developers alike from the PC-ified hardware of Sony’s PS4. Previously, it took a lot of work to make a game compatible for Xbox 360, PS3, and PC, but that’s nothing more than history come next-gen. Developers who want to reach the most gamers possible would be mistaken to ignore PCs, and I believe not only will more games reach the platform but they will include all the bells and whistles PC gamers love; things like higher resolution textures, DirectX 11 support, and anti-aliasing.
Two geeky words: Oculus Rift
Blow your grandma's mind.
The average person still thinks virtual reality is science fiction, but the truth is it’s already here. Oculus Rift is the very first consumer-grade VR solution. It utilizes a high field of view head-mounted display to immerse gamers in virtual worlds unlike anything before it. It isn’t just some dead-end project, either. Following a successful fundraising campaign that raised $2,437,429 it has gained the support of famous developers such as Gabe Newell and Cliff Bleszinski—as if Doom creator John Carmack spearheading the project wasn’t enough. Moreover, it already has a list of over two-dozen games that will support it at or around its imminent release.
Oculus Rift has been extremely popular at gaming and technology conventions. At this year’s E3 it’ll be demonstrated with several games including the sci-fi MMO EVE Online. While consoles are busy catching up in the graphics department, PC developers are already developing support for full virtual reality in their AAA titles. That shows just how far ahead PC technology really is.
Pay a little more, get a lot more
I see a lot of console gamers who say they don’t upgrade their PC because it’s too expensive. Frankly, that’s a misconception that has lasted far too long and becomes more untrue as time passes. For the past few years hardware prices have continued to drop granting consumers powerful PCs at an incredible price. A PC that ran Crysis on high settings in 2007 may have cost over $1200, but now you can accomplish the same with $500. Meanwhile, consoles have slowly and necessarily evolved their way into becoming nothing more than non-upgradable PCs.
So the question is: is it worth it to invest in hardware you can’t upgrade? In my opinion the console exclusives are usually worth it, but even that’s becoming less of a selling point as more franchises go multiplatform. Ultimately, the PC has even more exclusives, some of which would never work on a controller, and doesn’t have to be replaced every new generation.
Eye candy that nothing can compete with
I recently had a friend purchase his first gaming PC in over a decade. He made the radical jump from playing Battlefield 3 on his PS3 to seeing its beauty on his new mid-range desktop. Despite running the game on medium settings he couldn’t believe what he was witnessing.
Those graphics you’re seeing on PS4 trailers have been available on PC for a while now. The only thing that has changed is even more technology has been released and the price to experience such believable visuals has gone down substantially. Whether or not you think graphics are important they only help in making games more fun to experience. Why settle for less?
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